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Tali Cohen Shabtai

I Desire You

It excites me to write to you
I have this for a not insignificant time
sexual arousal
in anticipation of sexual activity
with you

You know
Lilith is a very active field, even these days
and I am prepared to come in its primeval shadow
and implement the secrets my erotic seduction
that are sometimes hard to resist.

I need a man of a high level, because men who are spiritually small
cannot contain me

What’s more, I prefer to run with wolves and not to wipe a child’s runny nose
as a man’s wife

I know that this mood will turn you on
for I am like Lilith – our manners are the antithesis of the image of the Jewish woman
married and kosher

I will not give you
a monologue that looks like it came from a written script
I will come without words
You will have to be enthusiastic with the body’s excitements and the urge
and you will do well to enthuse over my beauty
when we make love as if I was
a painting by Gustav Klimt at a public auction.

And then you will go to your partner
and me to my partner – your best friend
for 40 years.


Tali Cohen Shabtai is a poet, she was born in Jerusalem, Israel. She began writing poetry at the age of six, she had been an excellent student of literature. She began her writings by publishing her impressions in the school’s newspaper. First of all, she published her poetry in a prestigious literary magazine of Israel ‘Moznayim’ when she was fifteen years old.
Tali has written three poetry books: “Purple Diluted in a Black’s Thick”, (bilingual 2007), “Protest” (bilingual 2012), and “Nine Years From You” (2018).
Tali’s poems express spiritual and physical exile. She is studying her exile and freedom paradox, her cosmopolitan vision is very obvious in her writings. She lived some years in Oslo Norway and in the U.S.A. She is very prominent as a poet with a special lyric, “she doesn’t give herself easily, but subject to her own rules”.
Tali studied at the “David Yellin College of Education” for a bachelor’s degree. She is a member of the Hebrew Writers Association and the Israeli Writers Association in the state of Israel.
In 2014, Cohen Shabtai also participated in a Norwegian documentary about poets’ lives called “The Last Bohemian”- “Den Siste Bohemien”, and screened in the cinema in Scandinavia. By 2020, her fourth book of poetry will be published which will also be published in Norway. Her literary works have been translated into many languages as well.

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